AS is reporting today that Michael Essien actually agreed to take a paycut to facilitate his loan move from Chelsea to Real Madrid on deadline day in August. The paper is attributing the following quote to manager Jose Mourinho:
"Essien plays where I want and does not care. He acts with the same provision with which he decided to come to Madrid making less money than at Chelsea. "
Mou has been known to stretch the truth a bit from time to time, but this sounds like a pretty cut and dried statement. That should be both good and bad news for the club in my eyes. Essien's willingness to take a paycut will certainly make selling him elsewhere easier, although it also means he's probably less than thrilled about the prospect of returning to Chelsea in the summer.
I don't really think Essien would improve this team in his current form, but he'd certainly add valuable depth to the squad. He's always been a favorite of mine, so I'll be a sad panda on the day he finally makes his permanent departure from the club. This news makes me think that day might come sooner rather than later.